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371 area students earn Georgia BEST honors this year

POSTED: June 29, 2014 1:00 a.m.

High and middle school students exemplifying the Georgia BEST (Business Ethics Student Training) traits of teamwork, discipline and commitment were recognized this spring.

Hall County had 141 high school students qualify for the certification. They include:

Chestatee: Joshua Bennett, Cara Beth Branyon, Kaitlyn Byrd, Edith Garcia, Emily George, Ashley Goddard, Jennifer Hernandez, Daisy Ibarra, Janela Maldonado, Esmeralda Martinez, Katie Moore, Madilynn Peck, Nicole Peck, Ester Rizo, Jessi Stephens, Megan Waldrep, Allison Whidden, Bailey White, Elizabeth Wiggins and Amber Wiley.

East Hall: Cindy Villatoro, Laura Gonzalez, Cynthia Flores, Matthew Gee, Marlene Godoy, Maria Gomez, Richard Griffin, Nelly Gonzalez, Stephany Garcia, Matt Hunt and Lisette Garcia.

Flowery Branch: Brenda Aguilar, Oscar Almanzar, Kiersten Baltus, Gabrielle Burke, Sarah Clack, Hannah Conley, Victoria Cox, Samuel Crane, Catalina Dunn, Ashley Elder, Cassidy Floyd, Emily Green, August Huckleberry, Daniel Jones, Holli Joslin, Lauren Killebrew, Chanel Lear, Lindsey Lester, Bailey Little, Erin Lutumba, McKenzie Martin, Keojah McBryde, Bailey McWilliams, Caitlin Mitchell, Madison O’Brien, Amanda Oreszko, Lindsay Palmer, Julia Sienkiewicz, Faith Thompson and Michaela Yeary.

Johnson: Marivel Arias, Sophia Bermudez, Daniela Burciaga, Cynthia Castaneda, Jessica Collier, Erik Dinkel, Sydney Farley, Ali Farmer, Maitlin Henry, Alison LaPointe, Lillie McClure, Erin Perkins, Sylvia Ruiz, Andrew Todd and Lindsey Waters.

The Georgia BEST middle school program is aligned with the high school program. However, it also stresses career exploration and goes hand-in-hand with the State Department of Education’s career pathways, which require students to choose a pathway of study prior to entering high school. The middle school program was embedded in a select number of Carnegie unit Career Tech high school courses.

Hall County also saw 230 eighth-graders earn Georgia BEST soft skills certification. They include:

Chestatee Academy: Emily Barnas, Alec Bornhorst, Ben Braun, Chris Bryant, Jacqueline Castillo-Ramirez, Kevin Contreras, Katelyn Lugo, Emily Mize, Megan Pendley, Olivia Quatro, Jennifer Rodriguez-Guevara and Chloe Watson.

Davis Middle: Lisette Alvarez, Caroline Anderson, Valentina Bedoya, Anna Kate Butterworth, Gracie Charlton, Emily Cooper, Olivia Correa, Elizabeth Darracott, Madison Delacruz, Michelle Deveau, Noah Edmondson, Giselle Flores, Rodolfo Flores, Tommy Fowler, Cameron Fraker, Gwendolyn Gomez, Madison Grabher, Gisselle Guerrero, Kelli Hammonds, Tori Hatch, Hannah Hendon, John Hollis, Joshua Huss, Marleigh Jones, Alexis Kent, Aubrey Killebrew, Skyler Kleinheinz, Tyler Knotts, Lexi Kriews, Nicole Lamp, Megan Lance, Brenna Martin, Lauren McGlone, Samuel McNabb, Kaitlyn Merck, Matthew Olmstead, Joshua Osborne, Kelly Payero, Jaylyn Pelcastre, Reed Petty, Megan Potter, Colin Reilly, Jordan Rule, Christian Russell, William Selesky, Carly Shaw, Allison Slowick, Matthew Spain, Nate Stiltner, Kelsey Tipton and Melanie Valencia.

East Hall Middle: Laura Abreu, Ingry Almendarez, Johana L. Almendarez, Jorge F. Almira, Graciela Aviles, Ranisha Bailey, Katherine Barton, Michael Black, Kevin Bran, Chris Broome, Larissa Camacho, Brandon Carmona, Luis Caudillo, A. Ariel Contreras, Andrea Corona-Gonzalez, J. Jonathan Cortes, L. Grace Cranford, Cameron Crawford, Miguel Delfin, Diego Esqueda, Cassandra Gonzalez, Brissa Gross, Kenneth “Nate” Guest, Juan Hernandez, Rut Hernandez, Elias Herrera, Jai-Quayla Howard, David Jiminez, David Kidd Jr., Savanna Leach, Johnathan G Lopez, Moses Lopez, Isabel Luna, Jazmin Madera, Ana Martinez-Buendia, Hannah McKee, Ivan Mendoza, Katherine Merck, Abraham Muniz-Vega, Kailey O’Kelley, Joana Ordonez, Maria Otero, Aman Patel, Holly Poole, Giezi Portillo-barrientos, Carlos Pulido, Veronica Renteria, Eli Rivera, Andres Rodriguez, Guillermo Salcido, Fabiola Sanchez, Gracie Sellers, Jacqueline Sepulveda, Joshua Serrano, Cynthia Silva, Kendall Smith, Macy Thomas, Angel Torres-Nava, Brenda Vargas-Ortiz, Marcelina Villatoro, Katelyn Waldrep, Kristy Ward, Skylar Wilbanks, Tucker Williamson, Mariah Wilson and Giselle Zuniga.

North Hall Middle: Katie Allgood, Jacob Bennett, Jack Brown, Marino Campos, Hailey Gooch, Caleb Johnston, Ethan Kent, Alec LeBlanc, Michael McDaniel, Natalie Nixon, Alex Oliver, Starr Phipps, Caleb Poore, Andrew Reed, Shawn Reed, C.J. Smith, Madeline Stephens and Myra Zimmerman.

South Hall Middle: Kevin Alquicira, Josue Amador, Mason Barnes, Luis Carmona, Stacey Castrejon, Rosalio Cerda, Gerardo Diaz, Parker Dunagan, Casey Edwards, Alexandria Emerson, Quinton Fields, Franciso Flores, Betsy Frazier, William Hefley III, Jose Hernandez Jr., Maria Herrera-Cornejo, Jose Jaquez, Sarah Johnson, Esmeralda Juarez, Alejandro Madera, Jennifer Mendoza, Isaiah Mize, Rodrigo Murillo, Litzy Noyloa, Emmanuel Ortega, Neil Paris, Richard Evan Peebles, Kelly Pena, Alma Perez, Alexander Ramirez, Jovany Reyes, Anthony Reyes, Madelin Rodas-Espinoza, Veronica Rondan, Jonathan Sanchez, Brendy Santos-Cruz, Marcello Torres, Giselle Tovar, Sindy Vasquez-Garcia and Julieta Villa.

West Hall Middle: Gisselle Amparo, Ashley Alverson, Lexxi Bagley, Sydney Bartunek, Brianna Blackwell, Alexa Benson, Amanda Burris, Anna Kate Clark, Selvin Funes, Vanessa Garcia, Anai Hernandez, Juan Hernandez, Aaron Hubbard, Alicia Leo, Nataly Mandujano Tinoco, Sydney Lovick, Karley Maynard, Jennifer Nguyen, Jessica Ortiz, Rudy Ramirez, Peyton Randazzo, James Rivett, Estefania Romero-Gomez, Herika Turcios, Claudia Valle, Jessica X. Velasquez and Odalis Yebra.

World Language Academy: Sebastian Campos, Ana Contreras, Hector Garcia, Benjamin Head, Skyler Johnston-Hadaway, Steven Lopez, Thomas Pattillo, Alexander Sanchez, Nicholas Silva, Nathanael Silveira, Brandon Velazquez-Flores, John Vick, Justin Wade, John Wandrum, Braden Wayne and Maksymus Zepeda.

Georgia BEST provides students training in core work ethic traits sought by employers in the economy. Students learn soft skills and work habits to compete, acquire and keep jobs.

With business and industry input, the Georgia Department of Labor put together standards as part of the Georgia BEST Program. Discipline and character, attendance and punctuality, work habits, teamwork, time management, attitude, communication skills, responsibility and organization were among them.

Participating students earn 1, 2 or 3 points per standard, depending on how well and consistently they exhibit the skill. Hall County award recipients must meet a standard of points requiring at least one point in every category, plus meet a specific GPA benchmark. Those who earn 25 out of 30 possible points receive a Georgia BEST certificate, a designation enhancing their college and job applications.


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